World Fantasy Convention (my reading)
And now for the highlight of my WFC trip -- my reading -- my very first reading from INTO THE WILD -- my very first reading ever! I was soooo nervous. In the days leading up to the convention, I practiced at home by reading out loud to my cat. She heckled. This was not encouraging.
Nevertheless, as part of the Young Adult Reading at WFC, I read the beginning of chapter ten of INTO THE WILD to a very kind audience of about two dozen people. Oh my, wow, it was such a high.
The reading itself was the brainchild of Tiffany Trent, the matching bracelets for the four readers were created by Jo Whittemore, and the chocolate for the audience ... yeah, that was my contribution. (See my prior post about the role of chocolate in writing.) The audience was composed of primarily strangers, but I did know a few people: Sam Enthoven, John Joseph Adams, Jeri Smith-Ready, Mark Williams, Faith Stencel, Clover Autrey, and Heather. I swear I didn't twist their arms (much) to come.
The room was set up the same way I'd seen for a hundred other convention readings: long white table at one end and rows of those standard-issue gray conference chairs. I know those chairs well, but this was my first up-close-and-personal experience with the Long White Table. Did you know that the skirt doesn't go all the way around? And it's surprisingly light to lift. Ahh, the secrets that are revealed to program participants! But seriously, it was damn cool to sit facing the audience and put up the official table tent with SARAH BETH DURST on it in front of me.
Also in front of me, I put an 8x10 photo of my cover art, which my glorious husband had mounted on foam board. He gets very excited about these sorts of arts and crafts projects. Though he did a bit of swearing when he accidentally stuck the photo to the wrong part of the foam board, his little project turned out great in the end, and it was nice to be able to display my cover art as I read.
We read in the following order:
- Deborah Millitello from THIEF'S LUCK
- me from INTO THE WILD
- Jo Whittemore from ESCAPE FROM ARYLON
- Tiffany Trent from IN THE SERPENT'S COILS
Check out these pictures of the four of us, stolen from the blog of Faith Stencel. Thanks, Faith!
I'd love to share with you my feelings upon reading my own words to an audience for the first time, but the words seem inadequate... Fun. Empowering. Kind of like flying. People laughed at my jokes. They applauded at the end. They didn't throw tomatoes. Or even candy. They said very nice things afterwards. And I felt like I could fly.
After everyone read, we had a Q&A. Mark Williams broke the ice by asking the first question -- thank you, Mark! The second question was just to me and was from a total stranger. (I swear! I didn't bribe her! Unless you count the candy...) We answered a few more questions, and then it was over.
I didn't know it would feel so awesome. Can't wait to do it again!